Dec 6, 2015 | By Benedict

Does a wheelchair for dogs sound like a barking mad concept to you? It surely won’t if you were following 3Ders closely throughout November, when we reported on the heartwarming tails of Tazo and Tumbles, two adorable pups who each received a 3D printed wheelchair to improve their limited mobility. Those two canine chairs were printed by The 3D Printing Store and Ohio University respectively, but dog owners can now 3D print their own custom wheelchairs thanks to a Thingiverse project published by Rickee, a Toronto based digital media artist. The “FiGo” 3D printable dog wheelchair can be downloaded for free and adjusted to fit mutts of all sizes.

The generous maker decided to publish his 3D printed dog wheelchair project after seeing the unrealistic cost of many professional models. Wanting to deliver pet power to the people, he set about designing a customizable 3D printed chair which could be made using a combination of 3D printing and traditional assembly techniques. Although professionally made alternatives might offer greater durability or comfort, the maker designed the chair specifically for dog owners who might need a chair “at short notice, on a budget, at a remote location, or perhaps for temporary purposes.”

Although the 3D printed dog wheelchair’s creator hopes for the design to be adopted by many, the project was initially undertaken to help one dog in particular. Anne Murray, a 7-year-old French Bulldog, needed a wheelchair to get moving, but her owner Martha also had a specific aesthetic requirement. The caring owner wanted a chair which would not only help the bubbly whelp on her way, but would also reflect her personality. With this specification in mind, Rickee printed Anne Murray’s chair in bright purple, using glitter-filled clear acrylic tubing. Dog owners are encouraged to customize in a similarly creative way, and to bring out their dog’s true colors with a design to reflect their character.

The 3D printable dog wheelchair consists of 5 pairs of 3D printable pieces, as well as roller blade wheels, skate bearings, screws, acrylic tubing and straps. The length of aluminium tubing required is dependent on the size of the dog, and the maker has explained the simple calculations on the project’s Thingiverse page. Rickee used free OpenSCAD software to design the 3D printed parts of the chair, which are designed for 0.75” inner diameter acrylic tubing but which can be adjusted by makers needing thicker or thinner supports. The designer recommends printing the 3D printed parts at a resolution of .20 to .30, with a 20-25% infill. His 3D printer of choice is a MakerBot Replicator 2X, but the relatively simple parts should prove no trouble for most machines. Once the 3D printed parts are printed and ready to go, all that’s left to do is fit everything together.

By creating a simple 3D printable design, and by ensuring that each additional component is easy to source, Rickee could potentially save dog owners a significant amount of money, whilst providing their pooches with much needed physical support. Roll on, canine friends!



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Leslie Grinnell wrote at 12/7/2015 10:11:56 PM:

So where 's the support that holds up the back end of the dog? Magic?????

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